Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Well, I have been tagged by Sister Scorpion (Dec, 15th post), and urged by Sister Maliha to answer, so here are the six things that are not usually known about me. They are not particularly weird, and for that I apologize :)

1.  I was terribly shy with girls and women as a boy and young man, and only got over it when I was thirty-three years old, as I kissed a woman I was dancing with at a party. Something turned in me then; I could actually feel it turn, and I have never been shy after that, though still on the quiet side.

2.  I was a virgin when I got married (the shyness again).

3.  I was divorced when my children were young, and have always regretted it.

4.  Having been a writer and editor for many years, I’ve worked for many publications, including a brief stint at the infamous Hustler magazine in 1976 as Managing Editor. I was fired by Larry Flynt for not having the right stuff for that type of publication. I still don’t.

5.  Because of a misdiagnosed case of Cushing’s Syndrome (a benign tumor on the pituitary gland) I was hospitalized for seven weeks in 1986. During that hospital stay my heart literally stopped and was revived, and I had an out of body experience that illuminated without doubt the infinite goodness and mercy of God. It was a blessing in disguise.

6.  I am the son of Holocaust survivors, Polish Jews who, after the Russians liberated Poland, also escaped the Russians to West Germany. My mother was eight months pregnant with me at the time. Those that have read Master of the Jinn may remember the scene in the American Army Hospital where the first child born in the DP (Displaced Persons) camp after the horror of the war was celebrated. That part of the story was drawn from my life, or at least the way my parents tell it.

And that is all of the tale I will tell :)

Ya Haqq!

15 Responses to Tagged

  1. seeker94 says:

    You? Shy? Are you kidding?! LOL

    Anyway, thanks for sharing :)

    Perhaps one day, I’ll also share about my near death experience on my blog, insha Allah.

  2. Maliha says:

    Wow…Number six is amazing! I read that and had an inkling you got it from stories of survivors (didn’t know it was you!) Mashaallah. LoL @ the Hustler magazine, I somehow can’t see that!

  3. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Seeker and Maliha:

    Seeker: Yes, I was terribly shy, and I would love to read about your near death experience. It is one of those things in life that gives a glimpse of the next life, and so a blessing for us all to hear it.

    Maliha: I have had a very full past; sex and drugs and rock n roll is the least of it. If not for the Sufi path and God’s infinite mercy, I would surely have died long ago. Looking back, I see now that each step was necessary in preparing me for the next, slowly leading me to what was always waiting for me. Alhamdulillah!

    Ya Haqq!

  4. Suroor says:

    You are an amazing person, Irving! My mum has experienced # 5 when I was born. You are so interesting, Mashallah. Wow! Hustler?! I would have never found that out :)

    Am waiting for your book to arrive and can’t wait!

  5. lulando says:

    Who says it, has it not…
    Who has it, says it not…
    (Tao te king)

    Not all who remain silent, have it ;)
    1. Amendment by lulando

  6. Leila says:

    Well not weird, but it made me go “awwwwww.” Sweet. And now, I have my yearly dose of Muslim guilt as a result (I never get that… why? sociopath tendencies, or so I’ve been told).

    Hugs (web hugs aren’t haram) for Irving!

  7. Koonj says:

    That’s all pretty amazing, I must say. Unlike the others, I dont know where to start.
    More about the near death experience, perhaps?

    I was waiting for you to mention ‘Hustler.’ Still curious …

    Yeah, I don’t see a whole lot of shyness currently :)

  8. Abdur Rahman says:

    Salaams, one and all…

    Ma sha Allah, an interesting post. Hustler eh? As with the others, can’t quite see it! But, then, I know I’ve got more than a few skeletons in my closet. :)

    Who’s turn to be tagged next?

    Abdur Rahman

  9. mshahin says:


    Wow!!! That is very interesting brother Irving and thanks for sharing it with us. Number 6 is the most meaningful and most special part that you shared about yourself. I can’t believe you worked for Hustler magazine – but each life experience helps us in our journey to Allah. I could relate to you on the shyness aspect; I haven’t gotten over my shyness yet. The strange thing is I’m not shy on the Internet, and from my comments you would guess I’m a great talker but if you meet me in person, I’m very quiet.

    The Internet is actually an outlet for me where I’m too shy to participate in real life settings. This was actually a very interesting tag post, and I feel I know you a little bit better. Thanks for sharing :-)

  10. Sadiq says:

    Wow! didn’t read it before.

    very very interesting. i loved reading the whole of it. specially it was great to discover the story of Master of Jinn and your own life. The out of the body experience was truly remarkable. will you bless us someday about this incident?

    Blessings be with you.

  11. I guess I am echoing everyone else but, masha Allah what a fascinating life.

    ma’a salaamah,


  12. sunrunner says:

    I have been reading this 6 weird meme all over the place, & I gotta say, this one takes the cake, as they say….it is by far the weirdest and the bestest.

    Just so you don’t feel so alone, I am have one child, named Kadria (from the qadr) *was* a convert to Islam…strayed through my studies of sufism (& the universalism I found) and my inability to stomach the anti-semitism I kept tripping over in the traditionalist umah (ironically enough!) and am now married to the son of holocaust survivors, which makes for interesting seders when my Arabic daughter and me and my shicksa self attend!

    At any rate, I am very much looking forward to reading your book.

    At any rate, Yuletide Greetings, Happy (belated) Chanukah, Eid Mubarak and a wholly holy New Year to you and all of yours, from a Socialist People’s Republic of Vermonter now in Ft Greene Brooklyn. LOL

  13. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Friends to Numerous to Mention:

    And I feel too lazy to write all the names lol. Bless you all for your kind comments.
    I feel fortunate this New Year’s eve to have such online friends for another year :)

    Ya Haqq!

  14. Abbas says:

    interesting… :) mashaAllah, may Allah bless you.

  15. Carmen says:

    Blessings to you! and very nice to “meet you”

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